Steam Deck

Valve hopes that its recently released Steam Deck handheld game console can “really run the entire Steam library” at a frame rate of 30fps or higher on its 1280×800 LCD screen.
According to a recent IGN video interview, Valve hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat said, “all the games that we wanted to be playable had really good [performance], a really good experience” in Steam Deck tests. Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffis expanded on this statement, saying that “all the games that we wanted to be playable” means “really the entire Steam library.”
“We haven’t really found something we could throw at this device that it couldn’t handle yet,” he added.
Griffith said that the initial prototype testing of Steam Deck focused on old games in the Steam catalog and that “games that were coming out last year that just couldn’t really run very well on the previous types of prototypes and architectures we were testing.” However, on the final version of the hardware, he said the company has “achieved the level of performance that is required to run the latest generation of games without a problem.”
“The entire Steam catalog is available to people who have this device,” Aldehayyat added. “That’s where we knew we had a product that was going to deliver the experience we were looking for.”
Aldehayyat attributed extensive Steam Deck compatibility in part to the “future-proof” internal structure, including custom APUs with the latest generation of AMD CPU and GPU technology, and 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Griffis added that the performance scalability of modern PC games helps Steam Deck achieve a playable frame rate at its native 800p resolution, which is relatively low compared to desktop gaming PCs.
“If people are still valuing high frame rates and high resolutions on different platforms, I think that content will scale down to our 800p, 30 Hz target very well,” he said. “If people start heavily favoring image quality, we might be in a position where we might have tradeoffs, but we’re not in a position where we really see that yet.”
In a follow-up tweet later last week, Griffith clarified that the goal of 30fps is the “floor” Valve considers to be playable: “games we’ve tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far. There will also be an optional built-in FPS limiter to fine-tune perf[ormance] vs. battery life.”
Steam Deck will be pre-installed with Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS, which can run native Linux games and thousands of Windows-based games through the compatibility layer supported by Proton. Steam Deck owners can also install their own operating systems on their devices, including Windows.
Elsewhere in the interview, Aldehayyat stated that Valve spent a lot of time optimizing the Steam Deck’s SD card connection so that games stored there are “comparable” to games stored on internal SSD storage. He added that the NVMe storage is plugged into a separate module instead of directly plugged into the motherboard, which may indicate that it is possible to replace it over time.

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By James Carter

A Senior writer & Editor, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following news developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world. He writes for almost all sections of Editorials 24.